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February 18, 2018

NCPB denies buying imported maize from traders as Eldoret farmers protest over 2 queues at depot

Lorries ferrying maize to the NCPB line up in Eldoret town yesterday /MATHEWS NDANYI
Lorries ferrying maize to the NCPB line up in Eldoret town yesterday /MATHEWS NDANYI

The National Cereals and Produce Board has denied claims by farmers it is buying imported maize from influential traders pretending to be local producers.

The farmers yesterday protested at the board's depot in Eldoret. They said the importers are given priority by the board in both delivery and payment.

"We are surprised that there are two queues for those delivering maize at the depot in Eldoret. One for genuine farmers and another one for importers," Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo said.

He said importers are delivering maize in containers and their queue is being cleared faster than that of local farmers.

But board spokesman Titus Maiyo said they are still processing the subsidised government maize brought in from Mexico.

"We still have small quantities of the subsidised maize at the port and that is what the NCPB is processing and forwarding to the millers," he said.

He said the lorries ferrying the maize are only allowed into the depots for clearing of documents, after which the maize is not offloaded but redirected to millers.

Maiyo said farmers should not be worried of any unscrupulous business at the board.

But Menjo and other farmers' representatives met with the Uasin Gishu Agriculture executive Samwel Yego and asked him to ensure there is only one queue for farmers at the board.

“We don’t want to hear of two queues at the NCPB. Those with any other maize should take it elsewhere and stop frustrating farmers,” Menjo said.

Yego said the county would take up the complaints from the farmers and forward the same to the relevant authorities.

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